Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New book on Addington Workshops

Although the subtitle and cover suggest that this is a book about carpentry, it is in fact a history of a key part of New Zealand's industrial heritage, something which the Ministry of Culture and Heritage should support, but doesn't. The body text is a personalised account of working in the now closed and demolished workshops by author Keith G. Brown, but manages to also incorporate a record of most of what the workshops did and manufactured. The workshops were a major Christchurch employer and the aerial photo on the back cover shows the sheer size of the plant. Despite the book's subtitle the main raw material used was steel, from which was made numerous locomotives, carriages, wagons and other railway components.
Railways workshops were also located in the other main cities as well as in Wanganui.
The 112 pages are comprehensive without being overly technical, and contain a good number of works photos, layout maps, as well as railway scenes around Christchurch featuring products from the workshops. Dave Turner's contribution of 16 colour scenes from the 1960s and 1970s significantly add to the visual appeal.
All that one will see today is the old water tower, preserved as an historic ornament next to the present day Addington passenger station. The softcovered A4 size book is available for $50 from the transpress shop

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